Trailblazing women celebrated at Telstra Business Awards

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Half of Australia’s most successful business women are working in traditionally male-dominated industries and for nearly 40 per cent of these women, having a network of like-minded women is important to succeed in business, according to a survey of the finalists and winners of the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Women trailblazing in male-dominated industries, such as Jackie McArthur, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand of logistics service provider, Martin Brower, and 2016 Telstra New South Wales Business Woman of the Year gives advice to other women working in similar workplaces.

“You must build connections with people who share similar values and importantly understand you and your story. Bosses, roles, challenges and employers may all change, but your connections understand how you work, what you are capable of, as well as what you have achieved. Generous leaders and mentors in my career taught me to learn from both mistakes and victories. Today, I am grateful to still hear their voices in my head whenever faced with a challenge,” says Jackie.

Nearly all (90 per cent) of the winners and finalists of the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards said they have experienced self-doubt, but of this figure, 60 per cent said that in order to overcome that doubt they ensured they remained persistent, whilst another 45 per cent said they sought support from family and friends.

“I believe that succeeding and leading in any industry requires the courage to be true to yourself and authentic, and this is doubly true if you are in a male-dominated industry.  It’s ok to be the odd one out, it doesn’t mean you have to be someone else,” added Jackie.

austalia_vic_entrepreneur-award_anna-ross_3Victorian business woman, Anna Ross, is the 2016 Telstra Australian Young Business Woman of the Year.

Anna Ross is the founder of Kester Black, a leading manicure and skincare brand built on beautiful design and uncompromising ethical values. Kester Black offers consumers sustainable, Australian-made, vegan, and beauty products that a free from animal cruelty. Kester Black has a formal commitment to donate 2 per cent of revenue including in-kind donations to registered charities every year.

An important aspect of her business is bringing the products to consumers who might otherwise be marginalised by the beauty industry, such as vegans and Muslim women. Kester Black offers a water permeable nail polish, or ‘breathable polish’, which allows water vapours to pass through to the nail, providing an option for devout Muslim women, unable to wear regular nail polish because of the washing involved in daily prayers.

“In business, my beliefs manifest in a drive for innovation and establishing sustainable, ethical options for the consumer,” says Anna.

Other business women recognised at the 2016 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards are: Jenny Paradiso from Suntrix in South Australia (Entrepreneur Award) Andrea Mason from the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council in the Northern Territory (For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award), Jackie McArthur from Martin Brower in New South Wales (Corporate and Private Award), Inspector Virginia Nelson from the Queensland Police Service (Public Sector and Academia Award), and Rituparna Chakraborty from TeamLease Services in India (Business Woman in Asia Award).

Ms Joe Pollard, Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, Group Executive Media, and Chief Marketing Officer, said that Ms Ross is innovative, savvy and an inspiration to young business women in Australia and beyond.

“Ethics and value-based decision making are in the DNA of Anna’s business, from design through to packaging and her unique view and commitment to her customers,” Ms Pollard said.

“Anna has built a culture that aligns with her values through balance, sustainability, social welfare and innovation.”

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